Lot: 266

88th Tribal Art Auction

Big memorial head of an "oba"

Nigeria, Benin

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Emil Storrer, Zurich, Switzerland (1968) H: 23.8 inch 2000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

heavy wood, partly encrusted patina, remains of pigments, cavity on the back, min. dam., insect caused damage, cracks, slight traces of abrasion. "Oba" heads show common impersonal facial features, solely serving as demonstration of power and wealth. Versions in terracotta and wood were displayed on ancestor shrines of chiefs and bronze casters, while the heads made of brass were reserved for kings.


Roy, Christopher D., Kilengi, Afrikanische Kunst aus der Sammlung Bareiss, München 1997, p. 305, ill. 199